CW: How you doing? This is CW, we’re here with Tripping Kosher. We’re at a joint called Upside Kraft burger in Brooklyn somewhere. I’m over here with, as usual…
Judd: Judd Memphis. How ya doing?
CW: Are you going to introduce yourself? You don’t have to. Stay quiet – we’re going to put little words on the bottom says who you are. No, no, no… we’re going to blur your face. Leave the beard though. You will know exactly who it is.
There’s a guy named Daniel Rivera who gained credit working in some other very high end kosher restaurants. Pretty cool cat. He got a chance to come out to this burger bar type joint.
Daniel Rivera: I’ve been here for about two or three months now. We’re taking a twist on what…
CW: It’s a twist!
Daniel: I feel that the kosher fast food industry needs.
CW: So you’re fast casual?
CW: So we’re looking at the Pho. You can tell gelatinous and texture, which is what’s important in a Pho stock. It’s not just the flavor of the stock but there’s a texture. Especially when you drop the lime juice, they separate, you get two different layers. I’m going to try the broth.
Daniel: Yup, super soft.
CW: No, it’s fantastic because A) like I said, it has that texture. There is a gentle heat on the tongue. I always find that Pho is spicy like in the back your nose because it uses all the aromatic spices. You got star anise, cinnamon.
So right now I think we can say that Daniel Riviera is probably the premier kosher Pho maker.
Judd: You said premier.
CW: I did. I said he’s the premier kosher Pho… you’re not supposed to point it out. That’s the joke.
Daniel: We got the Bang Bang Broccoli.
CW: You’re a bang bang broccoli.
Daniel: So our Bang Bang Broccoli, which is a vodka batter. So it’s super crunchy, super crispy. Stays crunchy through and throughout. We take our broccoli, go into the batter, straight into the fryer until crispy, golden brown. And then we have my Bang Bang sauce, which is pretty much Korean —
CW: The joke is obvious.
Judd: The sauce is really, really good. Very crunchy. I don’t like broccoli and this is really, really good.
CW: His wife is going to be very proud of him. It’s his birthday so he has to eat a vegetable – deep fried.
Daniel: Our Upside Wings. They go through a marinating process of at least 48 hours and then from there they get baked in that sauce and then they hit the fryer. Really nice texture. Soft, juicy, crunchy.
CW: It’s a really good chicken wing! Is it a crispy chicken wing?
Daniel: It’s a crazy good chicken wing.
CW: With a spicy-sticky?
You know we love dumplings. We always hit up dumplings. What’s inside the dumpling?
Daniel: Pretty much we have beef.
Daniel: Ground up. A little bit of chili, garlic, and then we have a hoisin.
Daniel: And a lot of fresh ginger and sesame.
CW: Yeah! What are the dips? What am I dipping in? We got like a chili garlic?
Daniel: We have a chili garlic. We have like a traditional spicy mayo. And we have our ginger soy.
CW: Ok we are going to do this. Hash. You all know we love some hash. Yeah, Dr. Dabs right here is like yup.
So we go we got a pickle mustard seed. Nice.
Daniel: Yup. Honey bourbon pickled mustard seed.
CW: You’re a honey bourbon pickled mustard seed.
Daniel: Thank you.
CW: Corn beef done in house
Daniel: Corn beef done in house.
Daniel: Definitely. Yukon Gold potatoes. And then they’re cooked in other rendered lamb bacon fat that we serve.
CW: So there you go. Fried potatoes. Egg. Black pepper. You want to break into this? You should break into this. I’m nibbling. This is your shot. Get messy, buddy.
Judd: I want to get a piece of everything.
CW: You’re a piece of everything.
So when are you becoming Jewish?
CW: Can we talk about that? This guy decided he was sick and tired of somebody turning on his stove for him. “So I know what I’m going to do.” So how’s it going? Finding it a little bit of a struggle.
Daniel: You know it sucked. It sucked as a chef. Dedicating, you know, the time to it.
CW: To kosher and to everything. But you’re so close!
Alright so what is this? Your big deal right here. Cause this is a burger bar. What we got?
Daniel: Ok, so we have our Pastrami Burger. Very important, even the bun is our own. I designed the bread. It is a potato bun. Definitely on the sweeter side versus the traditional. We have a homemade mustard mayonnaise there. It’s three types of mayos. You’re going to have that pickled mustard seed in there. You’re going to have deli style mustard and a yellow mustard in there. Then the actual burger itself is encrusted in pastrami spice. So it’s not ground pastrami turned into a burger, but it’s a pastrami crusted burger.
Just the bun is a masterpiece. That’s a beautifully baked, crunchy, squishy bun. I can’t I can’t go beyond that. The outside is a perfect crust, a perfect crunch. It crackles in your hand. The burger itself, solid burger. He cooked it pretty well cause he knew it was going to be on camera, so like you know… You did a good job of cooking it. Yeah, it’s a perfect – what’d you go for, like a nice medium, medium rare. Burger sauce is great.
That’s a banging burger.